JALANDHAR, OCT 14 : Army XI and last year’s champions Indian Oil, Mumbai entered the semi-finals of the 30thIndian Oil Surjit Hockey Tournament at the Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium, Burlton Park here today. Army XI, Delhi and IndianOil, Mumbai topped their respective pools with 6 points each to qualify for semi-finals.
Army XI defated Mumbai XI by 5-2 in pool ‘C’ while IndianOil Mumbai beat Indian Air Force, Delhi by an identical 5-2 margin in pool ‘A’.
In the first match of the day, the Armymen took the lead in the 7th minute of the game when their inside right Milan Muthappa scored a fine field goal with a solo effort (1-0). Milan Muthappa himself doubled the magin in the very next minute.
Keeping their pressure on the rivals, the Armymen earned a penalty corner in the 26th minute and inside right Vishva Thakur made no mistake to sound the borad (3-0).
Despite trailing by three goals, the Mumbai lads initiated some good moves and earned a penalty corner. In the 30th minute and centre half Narad Bahadur indirectrly converted it to reduce the margin (1-3). After reducing the lead margin, the Mumbai boys continued their attacks from the right flanks and got another penalty corner in the 34thminite. Narad Bahadur converted it into a goal.(2-3). After lemon break, armymen added two more goals to their credit through outside left Binoy in the 43 and 57 minutes of the game.
The match between IndianOil, Mumbai and Indian Air Force Delhi in pool A was ado-or-dieaffair as both were having 3 poitns each in their credits. Both teams exhibited good hockey however the Oilmen drew the first blood in the 16thminute through Sunil Yadav who converted their first penalty corner.
The Airmen made some good attacks but the deep defenders of IndianOil did not allowed them to enter into their stricking circle. The Oilmen missed two penalty corners in the 20 and 22 minutes. Three minutes later the Mumbai got another penalty corner in the 25thminute and Sunil Yadav agains sounded the board to give the Mumbai team a 2-0 lead.
The Airmen mounted pressure but muffed three golden chances to score. The Oilmen again launhed their attack from the right flank and increased the lead in the 34thminute of the game when Olympian Deepak Thakur scored a field goal. At breather, IndianOil were leading by 3-0.
In the 49th minute Indian Air Force earned their first penalty corner which Devendra Chandra converted it to reduce the margin (1-3). In the 57th minute Olympian Deepak Thakur scored field goal for IndianOil (4-1). In 67th minute Deepak Thakur struck once again (5-1). In the last minute Indian Air Force’s Verendra scored from penalty corner (2-5).